Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Thankful For YOU!!!

I find it almost impossible to believe that this year has passed so quickly. As I sit writing this there is Christmas music playing in the background, a yummy Pumpkin Roll sits sliced on my desk for others to enjoy, our “Adopt A Family” tree is being assembled in our lunch room, and people are discussing their plans for Thanksgiving. Is it REALLY possible that 2010 will soon be over?

As I reflect on the past year I realize that it has not been without its’ share of difficulties, nor its’ share of blessings. We have concluded our year of “firsts” without Dad. Each “first” passed with mixed emotions. It’s still difficult to believe that he is gone, and is sorely missed, but yet we rejoice that he is celebrating with his Lord and is out of the pain and “fog” he lived in for his last few years.

It has been a difficult year for me physically. An illness that came upon me at the beginning of the year still raises its ugly head whenever I do too much and makes me step back and slow down – a VERY hard thing for me to do. I guess God is watching over me this Thanksgiving to make sure I don’t overdo things. This is the first time… EVER… that we will NOT be spending the day with all of our family. With marriages and people moving away, this year is one where everyone is going in different directions. Instead, we will spend a quiet day with my mother-in-law who is in the midst of “that long goodbye”.

However, along with the difficulties and trials, God has shown His many blessings as well. Of course Mom celebrated her 90th birthday, which is a blessing indeed. She is still very active and healthy – something we are so thankful for. We are also awaiting a new little addition to our family. Although I secretly wish for a little girl, I’ll be just as happy with a boy, and pray this little one is healthy and happy.

One of the biggest blessings this year has been quiet unexpected. That blessing is YOU… my dear blogging friends. When I started this blog back in March, I NEVER in my wildest dreams believed that it would be looked at by anyone other than myself and perhaps a few family members that I could shame into checking it out. NEVER did I believe it would bring me treasured friendships from people I have never even met. NEVER did I believe that “strangers” would be a source of encouragement when I have been down or share a laugh with me through e-mail messages or comments they have left. NEVER did I believe that there would be so many wonderful people out there who have been ready, willing, and able to help me with a DIY project when I needed advice. NEVER did I believe that something I posted would be of significance to anyone else, and that in some way has impacted their life. NEVER did I believe that I would be able to help a perfect stranger who I now consider as my “Blog Daughter”.  How I wish I could meet you, chit chat, work on a DIY project with you, or better yet, tour some of your beautiful homes!!

Although I don’t have that many people who are “Followers”, I know there are a lot of people who visit my site and either e-mail or leave me comments. Obviously I would like for all of you to become “Followers”, but regardless I’m happy you stop by for a visit every now and then. To each of you I want to say a BIG “Thank You”! Thank you for visiting me and letting me know that this blog has more meaning than just sharing DIY projects. It has become an avenue to meeting people all over the world who share common interests. It has become a means to reach out to others by visiting their blogs and encouraging them. By reading postings from all of you, I have learned that it’s ok to be less than perfect. I’ve learned that other people have many of the same fears, concerns, and passions that I have – I’m not alone. I’ve learned that it’s ok to be transparent, and in doing so you can be an encouragement to others. I always respond to every comment that is left for me because I have learned from others just how important it is to acknowledge the time people take to encourage you.

So once again I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing this whole new world with me. I look forward to having some give-away postings in the near future, sharing more projects, and most of all learning more from all of you. I believe that 2011 will be a great year. 

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I hope you will look around you and see the many blessings the have been bestowed on you this year – some that are quite evident, and others that were subtle, but blessings none-the-less!  May you and your family have a wonderful holiday!

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:20


Thursday, November 18, 2010

I’ve Been Featured… By Glue Dots!

I’m dancing the “Happy Dance” on being featured… by GLUE DOTS - of all people!!!  One of their representatives found my posting on the “Personalized Aisle Runner Tutorial”.  In this tutorial I talk about how we used Glue Dots to “bejewel” the aisle cloth.  She contacted me and asked if they could feature my tutorial on their site.  Let me consider a moment… Yesssss! 

Glue Dots Picture

I have to say that Glue Dots are WONDERFUL!!!  Keep them on hand and use them in all kinds of projects.  I would highly recommend them for your crafting projects.

Mini Glue Dots on rolls for class and art projects.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wall Art Wedding Gift

In going through some posts the other day, I came across one from Amy from “My 3 Monsters”, where she was showing some wall art she had made.  I loved the look of it and thought it would make a great house warming/wedding gift for my niece.  Did it matter that I only had one day until I had to fly out to her wedding???  Heck no… no problem!!  In Amy’s post she gave the links to a photo letter and number collection where you can download everything for free!!!!  WAHOO, I’m all about FREE!!  (This is what Amy said on her post:  I happened upon the Flickr photostream of Leo Reynolds. He has posted thousands of photos of typography and signage (and other interesting things) and he is kind enough to let us, the general public, use them with a very few restrictions.) 
Here are the links for the letters http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/collections/72157594587080023/,
and here are the numbers http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/collections/72157594587095340/
I went and started checking out the photo letters and became even more inspired!!!  I HAD to make one of these for my niece and soon-to-be hubby.  Sooooo, I started downloading the appropriate letters and numbers to make up their sign.  Like Amy said, the hardest part is deciding on which pictures to use. I had it designed by that evening, and planned to print it and frame it the next day.  Did it matter that I had not even packed yet???  Heck no… no problem!!
Now this is the point where I rather strayed from the original idea that Amy posted.  I wanted something with a little more substance than just a printed sheet that was framed.  When I printed the sign out, it reminded me of tiles.  Hmmmmm, would it be possible to “kick this up a notch” using tiles.  Wellllll, my little mind got to thinking, I came up with a plan, and I made out a list of all the things I wanted to look for. 
Stacey wedding
First I needed to print out the letters and numbers to the appropriate size.  Not knowing the exact size of the tiles I had to guess.  I sized each letter and number to 1.75” x 1.75”.  They fit perfectly!!!  (If you want a larger piece of wall art you could use 4" x 4" tiles.)  I wasn’t sure if I might want a black boarder around letter, so I made the background black.  I then printed out the letters and numbers on white card stock.  I used a laser color printer, but next time I’m going to try using photo paper on an inkjet because the quality of the letters will be even better. 
Now mind you, I was leaving at 5:00 AM the next morning for CA, had to work half a day, needed to purchase supplies, make the gift (which I still wasn’t sure would work), pack and try to get a few hours of sleep.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute… right??  Well, I was determined to complete this project, so I had to get busy. 
I headed to Lowes to try and find the tiles.  I had plain white tiles in mind, but once I got there and saw some of the other tiles available I opted for something a little different.  Instead I decided on some tiles that were more of a natural color, and somewhat of a “frame” around each tile.  That set me back a whole whopping $2.89 for a sheet of tiles.  I needed 16 tiles for my project.  Since there are 36 tiles to one sheet, I would have more than enough for 2 projects, plus extra in case I messed up.
The next thing I needed to find was a frame that would work.  I headed over to Big Lots to see what they had.  After looking around a while I found the perfect thing.  It was a square black frame with a raised center area that was the EXACT size for the tiles.  No glass, just a raised area.  I snagged that baby for $6, and headed home to start my project.  I pealed off the picture that was glued on the raised area.  The only problem with pealing it off, was it left the white backing on the board.  Hmmmm, that wasn’t going to look very good.  I tried putting a piece of burlap on the area, but didn’t really like the look.  What I needed was just a plain black background.  Well, there was certainly an easy fix to that problem… black spray paint.  Now I didn’t really want to take off the corner cardboard pieces (because I wanted it to travel), so I needed to find a way around that. 
GEDC1592   GEDC1589   GEDC1590 
Foil to the rescue.  I use foil a lot when I paint.  It’s cheap, can mold around anything, and is easy to take off after the paint is dry.  I wrapped everything except the raised area, and spray painted it black.
GEDC1609   GEDC1616 
Next I cut out all the letters and numbers.  Since I had decided to use the nice tiles, I determined that I did NOT want the black border, so I cut that off and just laid out everything to see how it would look.  Each letter fit perfectly within the tile area, leaving enough tile to serve as a border.  I broke apart all the tiles, and cut off the glue areas between the tiles.  I had decided that I was going to just use some spray adhesive, but you could use regular glue, Mod Podge, or even a glue stick.  Doesn’t really matter as long as you make sure it is well adhered. 
GEDC1622   GEDC1626   GEDC1627   GEDC1629   
Now… how to finish off the tiles?  Idea #1:  Spray Polyurethane over the top.  #2:  Mod Podge over the top.  #3:  Use embossing powder to make a coating. 
I tried Idea #1 first.  Looked nice, but didn’t really seal off the letter like I wanted.  I was not really interested in #2, so I went straight on to idea #3.  I placed a tile on a piece of foil, covered it with a HEAVY coating of the embossing powder, stuck it in a 350 degree oven for about 3 minutes (long enough for the embossing powder to melt), took it out, and let it cool.  It was EXACTLY what I was looking for!!!!  It’s hard to tell from the picture, but there is now a clear heavy glaze over the tile.  
GEDC1630  GEDC1654
Once I had established that this was the look I was happy with I proceeded with the rest of the tiles.  Rather than doing one at a time (I had to hurry since I still had to pack) I took out a cookie sheet, covered it with foil, covered each tile with a HEAVY coating of embossing powder, and placed the whole thing in the oven.  You can see that the embossing powder was slowly melting, and eventually became clear over the entire tile.  Because I did so many at a time it did take a little longer in the oven, but I just carefully watched them and took them out as soon as all the powder was melted.  ONE SUGGESTION I WOULD MAKE:  If I were to do it again, I would place something under each tile to raise it up.  I have used nuts before (no silly, NOT “nuts” that you eat… one that you use with a bolt!!  LOL).  Place one or two under each tile.  This allows the powder to melt down over the sides without the melting powder making the tile stick to the foil.
GEDC1633    GEDC1631
Once the tiles had a chance to cool down it was time to secure them to the frame.  I wanted to make sure that the spacing was equal, so I used tile spacers and then I glued the tiles to the frame.  I used my favorite glue, E6000, to adhere the tiles.
 E6000 glueGEDC1637   GEDC1638 
I also decided to add a little “bling” to some of the letters.
Once the glue had time to set up I removed the spacers and “called ‘er done”!  I absolutely LOVED it, and couldn’t wait to deliver it to the newlyweds… Oh! Guess I better get some packing done!!!
Perfect gift for the perfect couple… Matt & Stacey Bates, Established 2010
They loved it, but I forgot to take a picture of them with it.  Hopefully I can get one once they return from their honeymoon.

As far as I know, this idea is original with me... at least I have not seen it anyplace else, so if you end up making something like this, but sure to give me a shout-out (along with my link) on your post, and of course let me see a picture of what you came up with.  I would LOVE to see what you do!!!!

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Here Comes The Bride!

GEDC1730This past weekend we had the privilege of attending my niece, Stacey's wedding.  Our family (hubby, daughter, son-in-law, grandson, my Mom, sister Cheryl, and brother-in-law Olan) all hopped on a plane and headed to sunny San Diego, CA.  Stacey and Matt were married outside.  Although the weather earlier in the week had reached record highs, by Saturday, it was absolutely perfect California weather.  The pictures pretty much speak for themselves showing how beautiful the setting was, how gorgeous the bride was, and of course how cute the little ring bearer was!!!!  Everything was amazing, and we all had a wonderful time!!!  A few of these pictures were borrowed from photos that one of their friends posted on Facebook. (Since we were not sitting on the center aisle I was not able to catch some of those shots.)

Look at this backdrop… isn’t it gorgeous!!??
Noah carried my Dad’s bible (Grandfather to the bride) who passed away last year.  Tied on the bible was the wedding ring of Stacey’s Dad who passed away when she was only 4 years old.
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Stacey’s nieces… Avalyn and Brinley.
My brother-in-law John became Stacey’s Dad when she was only 7 years old.
148872_455493649651_500939651_5605155_5001802_n GEDC1812      GEDC1719 GEDC1721
Noah along with the 2 flower girls and Jr. Bridesmaid (also Stacey’s niece).
My sister (Bonnie) and brother-in-law (John) along with the happy couple.
“Killer shoes”!!!!
Noah with Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s Bible.
Grandma with her little man.
Anyone that knows my hubby knows that this is his “signature move”… a little squeeze on the cheek.
Welcome to the family Matt… we wish you and Stacey the very best!!!!  Love you both!!!